The Legal Connector

Vol. 1, No. 2                                                                                      November 18, 2014
Keeping the Momentum Going!

This edition of The Legal Connector comes on the heels of Call for Justice, LLC's second annual "I Didn't Know That!" seminar, which took place on November 12. (A big thank you to Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, which graciously hosted the event and provided breakfast and refreshments!)


This year's IDKT! attracted nearly 90 attendees, collectively representing a whopping 51 different organizations! The program covered the field of available legal resources for Minnesotans who earn low incomes and included a presentation on Minnesota Legal Advice Online ( and the I-CAN! family court forms.


Post-event survey comments about the seminar reflect that attendees are hungry for information about where to refer persons in legal need. C4J's goal is to serve as a major legal resources information hub for the Twin Cities, and ultimately Minnesota as a whole. We're expanding our Legal Liaison Program to southeastern Minnesota for this reason (see below for details about our December 4 event in Owatonna) and we're on the lookout for other opportunities to collaborate as well.


As I've often said, we believe that information is non-jurisdictional given the urgency of situations where basic human needs like shelter and personal safety are at risk. As we all know, being able to connect with a lawyer can mean the difference between remaining in an apartment or being out on the street.


We appreciate your ideas and feedback!


Because justice first requires access. 



Goings On:
Here are some happenings within the Twin Cities legal and social services landscapes.
In This Issue:

1. Debtor Clinic at Hennepin County Conciliation Court
Let Your Constituents Know About This Resource

Many don't know that there are special "dockets" in Hennepin County Conciliation Court two or three times a week where creditors and their law firms process credit card and other debt cases against defendants en masse. Sometimes as many as 80 or more cases are heard in a single court session.


Recently, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (MMLA) began a special Consumer Debt Clinic to provide representation to persons at 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines or less as a way of mitigating those debt claims. The clinic, located at Conciliation Court at the Hennepin County Courthouse, includes two attorneys and one assistant who provide either on-the-spot full representation or brief advice. In the most recent edition of The Hennepin Lawyer (a publication of the Hennepin County Bar Association), Jeremy Carvell, a MMLA attorney and a visionary for the clinic, does an excellent job describing the challenges associated with the special dockets and how the Consumer Debt Clinic protects consumers. You can read his article here.  

2. Hennepin County Pro Bono Expansion Project Gains Traction
Pro Bono Progress!

Last month we reported on the Hennepin County Pro Bono Expansion Project headed by Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge Peter Cahill and Tom Tinkham of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. The project, intended to incentivize 125 lawyers to work with the Volunteer Lawyers Network on various initiatives, is aimed at mid-size Hennepin County law firms.


We're pleased to report that some of the firms have really stepped up to the plate and approximately 20 additional attorneys have signed up to do pro bono work through VLN. We will publish the names of the participating firms (and list the number of their participating attorneys) once the expansion project is deemed complete. Stay tuned!

3. Minnesota Justice Foundation Supplies Nonprofit Talent

MJF Interns Are a Crucial Nonprofit Resource

Many in the legal community know about the Minnesota Justice Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that connects law students who intern at nonprofit legal providers and related organizations. In fact, Call for Justice, LLC has been lucky to work with several MJF interns (our most recent being Clara Johnson--a 1L at the University of St. Thomas School of Law--and Beth Belle Isle--a 1L at William Mitchell College of Law). MJF is a wonderful organization that in a variety of ways works to meet the legal needs of low-income and disadvantaged Minnesotans.  


You can support MJF by attending its annual dinner, set for the evening of Wednesday, November 19 at International Market Square in Minneapolis. A number of MJF interns will be honored that evening, including Martha Price, a University of St. Thomas School of Law 3L who also happens to be a mentee of Ellie Krug. Congratulations to Martha and all the other MJF honorees!

4. CMLS Offers Veterans Legal Services

More Legal Resources for Vets!

We have a new state-wide veterans legal services program! "CMLS Veterans Services" offered by Central  Minnesota Legal Services covers all of Minnesota to help veterans with many types of civil legal matters, such as consumer debt, family, housing, benefits, etc. Interested persons can call 612-332-8151. Along with the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MAC-V)(, the state now has at least two organizations that will assist with veteran legal needs.

5. Lindquist & Vennum to Offer Film on Understanding Poverty 

A Must-See for Anyone Working with Persons Who Earn Low Incomes

On October 24, Target Corporation hosted a seminar sponsored by Lindquist & Vennum and the Volunteer Lawyers Network entitled, "Breaking Poverty Barriers to Equal Justice," which featured national speaker, Donna Beegle, an award-winning advocate for persons who live in poverty. The morning-long seminar was attended by approximately 100 people and was videotaped with plans to condense it to an hour for free distribution to any group or individual just for the asking. Look for an announcement about the video in early 2015. Special recognition goes to Cindy Anderson (of Lindquist) and Martha Delaney (of VLN) for envisioning and then facilitating creation of the event!

6. HCBA 1L Minority Clerkship Program
Key Legal Pipeline Seeks Applications

The HCBA is again offering its 1L Minority Clerkship Program which

places first-year racial minority law students with Minnesota legal employers for a summer associate experience.  


Applicants may apply online at between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10. Each 1L law student who provides a complete application and who self-identifies as a minority under the EEOC definition of minority will be interviewed in early January.

People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.

Updated: "Legal Resources Cheat Sheet"  

C4J has Updated Our "Cheat Sheet" for Winter 2014

Those familiar with our work know that we've created a 22-page "Legal Resources Cheat Sheet" that lists various nonprofit legal providers by category of legal need. We've now updated the "Cheat Sheet" to include the newest legal resource for veterans (offered by CMLS as reported above) and have corrected a couple of minor errors.  


You can download the "Cheat Sheet" by going to   

C4J Plans LLP Expansion to Southern MN
The Legal Liaison Program Heads to Owatonna
Call for Justice operates the "Legal Liaison Program," which helps nonprofit legal providers and social service agencies to communicate about programs and needs. (A key feature of the LLP is our signature "speed networking" that enables program representatives to meet one another.)To date, 55 Legal Liaison organizations and individuals have enrolled in the LLP.  Friends
Because of the program's success, we've decided to expand it to greater Minnesota. Our inaugural "Greater MN LLP" will kick off in Owatonna on the afternoon of Dec. 4, 2014. If you know of a southeast MN social service agency or legal provider who might want to attend that free program, please let Emily ( know and we'll reach out.
In Closing
Stay tuned for our December issue! If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our December edition, please contact Program Manager Emily Lindholm at


Ellen (Ellie) Krug
Executive Director

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Thanks to C4J Donors!!

Foundation Support:
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Leonard, Street and Deinard Foundation, Ramsey County Bar Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation.

Law Firms:

Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager, P.A., Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Barry, Slade & Wheaton, LLC, Bassford Remele, A Professional Association, Best & Flanagan LLP, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Cooper & Reid, LLC, Cousineau McGuire, Chartered, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Fish & Richardson P.C., Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, Fredrikson & Byron, PA, Gray Plant Mooty, Halunen & Associates, Henson & Efron, P.A., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., Larson King, LLP, Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson, P.A., Lindquist & Vennum LLP, Maslon Edelman Borman and Brand, LLP, Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, P.A., Merchant & Gould, Moss & Barnett, A Professional Association, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., Stinson, Leonard Street LLP, Unger Law Office, Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

Businesses & Organizations:
Bestwestern Normandy Inn & Suites, Boston Scientific, Brending Electrolysis, Court Videographer Services, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Friends of Justice:

Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Dan Burton, Vicki and Richard Carlson, Emily Cooper, David Couillard, John Daly, Gina DeConcini, Martha Delaney, Paul Dieseth, Liz and Brian Dillon, Phyllis Doman, Jerrad Fenske, Charles Ferrell, Al and Ellen Fisher, Donna and Paul Floyd, Donald and Arvonne Fraser (in honor of Hon. Tom Fraser), Sara Galligan, Beth Garland, Elise Ginsburg, Fouthma Haji-Taki, Rebecca Hallette, Joy Hamilton, Frank and Jayne Harris, Catharine Haukedahl, Amy Walsh Kern, Ellen Krug, Mark Krug, Richard Kyle, Jr. and Elizabeth Wittenberg, Brian and Erin Lindholm, John Medeiros, Pete Michaud and Tom Wilson, Caitlin Miles, Alan Miller, Kathy Moran, Ari Murphy, Jean Nead, Crystal Ng, Kathy Nielsen, Melissa Otto, Gary Pederson, Kelly Phillips, David Piper, David Potter, Jill Prohofsky, Paul Quast, Linda Raines, Christine Rehm, Thea Reilkoff, Liz Reppe, Brent Routman, Joseph Satter, Laura Strong and Pam Michaud, Vanessa Tennyson, Dennis Tharp, Jamila Tharp, Tom Tinkham and Jacquelyn "Jacq" Hauser, Mike Unger, Mary Vasaly, Ella Washington, Paul Wehrwein, Jodi Williams, and Jay Wolkenbrod.